Spicy Walnuts

Spicy Walnuts
Yields 2 cups

What you need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon Caramel Simple Syrup (recipe to follow)
1 teaspoon smoked salt
1 teaspoon ground chile de arbol
2 cups walnuts
1 teaspoon canola oil

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, Caramel Simple Syrup, salt, and chile de arbol. Add the walnuts and toss to evenly coat.
Lightly grease a rimmed baking pan with the canola oil and arrange the walnuts in a single layer in the pan. Bake 45 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes with a wooden spoon. Watch to se that the walnuts do not burn. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. These spicy walnuts may be stored in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Caramel Simple Syrup
Yields 1 cup

What you need:
3/4 cup sugar

What to do:
Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Do not stir the mixture, as this will cause crystallization. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. As the water evaporates, the sugar will begin to caramelize. Once the sugar turns a medium caramel color, reduce the heat to low, add 1/4 cup water, and stir to fully incorporate. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool before pouring into a lidded, heat-proof container.
Caramel simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, in a covered container for 3 months.

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